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Systematic Reviews and other Knowledge Synthesis: Analyze results

This guide covers the basics of conducting a systematic review and other types of knowledge synthesis

Analyze results

There are 2 types of synthesis:

  • Narrative
  • Metanalysis

Narrative seeks to answer the following:

  • Does the intervention work? Why? and for Whom?
  • How can the results of all studies be described so that they will be identifiable and comparable across studies?
  • What is the relationship of the data within and between studies?
  • How robust is the synthesis?

Narrative analysis includes a "Discussion" section with the following subheadings:

  • Overall completeness and applicability of evidence
  • Quality of the evidence
  • Potential biases in the review process


  • Statistically combines data from all included studies to give an overall result
  • May need to use software to ensure that data is combined appropriately
  • Requires separate metanalysis for each included study type
  • Will render as a Forest Plot
  • Also needs some discussion